Best Time to Come to THAILAND
In our humble opinion the best time to be in Thailand is November to about mid March. If you can tolerate the heat, than you may want to stay for Thai New Year (Songkran). If you arrive near the end of November you will be greeted by warm air, low humidity and foxy Asian hunnies. Most days are in the low to mid 80's and night can get down to the upper 60's. Combine the great weather with friendly beautiful women along with a few major holidays and it makes you forget about cold and snow back home real quick.
If you are able to make it to Thailand in November there is an amazing celebration in Chang Mai called Yi Peng. You might recognize the image above as the Floating Lantern Festival and throughout the years it become part of the larger Loy Krathong festival. Thousands of people all over Thailand release floats in rivers and ocean, as well as set flight to rice paper lanterns. The traditional ceremony is held by the light of the full moon on the second month of the Lanna calendar. The purpose of the ceremony is to let go of ones troubles, and as they float away in the air, or by the water, a wish is made. It should be noted, the traditional experience in the North is truly a sight that will stir something your soul.
Now we admit, we're not a big Christmas guys. However when you are on the other side of the world and you see the Thai ladies dressed up for their office Christmas parties you get that feeling inside like Christmas morning when you were six or seven. If it's your fist time in Bangkok during the holiday season you might begin to wonder if magic really does exist. Much like in the West, Christmas is used as a commercial tool to drive up sales in the last days of the final quarter. That bit aside, it really is nice to see the Bangkok light up. Certainly every mall has at least one Christmas tree some are 25 feet tall...some are even are palm trees lol.
After Christmas it's on to our first New Year's celebration. This year we took a trip down to Koh Samui for a little R&R on the island. Sometimes you gotta break free of the jungle. The concrete jungle that is. If you come to Thailand you have to take the time to go to Samui. Granted it has been a tourist destination for some time now and has a tourist vibe, it's still a great escape from Bangkok and can be done on almost any budget.
We stayed at the Santiburi Beach Resort and Spa. Much like Christmas, this year's new year's festivities were toned down in remembrance of His Majesty Rama 9. There were some mild fireworks, but saw no lanterns, There was however a nice fire show and great music by the band Bleus Line. The food and staff were A-1 at the resort, and even though we didn't get a massage the spa sure looked amazing. The rooms and the grounds were just gorgeous. We definitely recommend you check them out even if just for the weekend. They often run promotions where you buy 3 nights but only pay for 2. A long holiday weekend during the New Years holiday, all-amenities included, on an paradise cost us about $420. Not exactly cheap, but hey, where were you Jan 1st?
Following Christmas and New Years it was time for Chinese New year. You might not know, but Chinese New Year is a spring festival dating back more than 3,000 years. It begins on the 23rd day of the 12th month of the Chinese calendar. The celebration lasts about 23 days in total and culminates with a lantern lighting ceremony.
Confirming my suspicions that magic does exist here in Thailand, the city's holiday motif seamlessly transforms from the West to the East in a matter of a few weeks. By mid-January you will see lots of dragon shirts, hanging paper lanterns and of course the sexiest creatures you ever laid your eyes on all out for display. This year was the year of the Fire Rooster. It is said that Fire Roosters are Trustworthy, and have a strong sense of responsibility. The last year of the Fire Rooster was 1957. Do you know your Chinese Zodiac Sign?
After Sumui we decided to keep it local. We live good, but everyone's got a budget right? So for a couple hundred baht we headed to Yaowarat Road in Chinatown. The dragon parade starts around 3 pm, but it is only the first of many. We recommend getting there around 8 for the real party. As you can imagine, during Chinese New Year colors are quite vibrant, fabrics of red and green accented with gold embroidery can be seen almost everywhere. Fan dancers and dragon parades, mixed with the sound of drums and fire crackers over whelm the senses. Suddenly you realize you are in the middle of the world's oldest party. By the time night falls on the final night, and the lantern light is intertwined with the stars in the sky, you truly realize how lucky you are that you made it to Asia.
Would you believe after all this we still have one more New year to go? We'll see you for Songkran in April, remember to wrap your phone in plastic!